Photo by sallybeauty.com
If you close your eyes and listen carefully, you'll hear the sound of Ecostyler gel being cancelled all over the world. I became aware of this movement a couple of days ago and can admit that I have enjoyed "people watching" as the momentum has continued to swell. But somewhere between watching the infamous Bri Hall video and reading comments on happycurlhappygirl's channel, I started feeling some kinda way.
It seems that most folks fall within 1 of 3 camps:
|CAMP 1||CAMP 2||CAMP 3|
|Didn't know the ingredients in Ecostyler gel were harmful||Knew/Figured the ingredients in Ecostyler gel were harmful||
|Decided to stop using Ecostyler gel||X|
|Decided to keep using Ecostyler gel||X||X|
The people in Camps 2 and 3 leave me scratching my head (no pun intended). I'm having trouble wrapping my wits around how you can stare an oncoming train dead in the eye and then decide to look the other way. I mean, maybe the train will jump the track? Maybe. What further confuses me is some of the twisted rationale I've heard (I'm paraphrasing), "This ingredient [referring mostly to TEA] is in everything! If we stop using it then we won't have any option other than to create our own beauty products...and no one has time for that!" I even saw one YouTuber list all of the categories of beauty products (mascara, body moisturizer, foundation, etc) that often contain TEA as if to suggest that ALL products in those categories are harmful.
As the founder of a black-owned hair products company, this is where I started getting frustrated. Why would you not care what you put on your body? And why would you reward a business who doesn't care about you with your hard-earned money? Consumers need to start realizing that they have immense power. Social media is a beast. It's time to speak up and demand better. Businesses choose to put crappy ingredients in their products. They choose to value the almighty dollar and to devalue their customers' heath. If consumers decide that they deserve better and put their money where their mouths are, businesses will have no choice but to respond. There are already plenty of beauty companies that pride themselves on using the best ingredients for their customers because they care (Yes, I happen to be one of them - remind me to tell you the story of when I instructed my chemist to choose a TEA-alternative for my edge control). And if more consumers decide to take a stand, there will be even more.
The folks in Camp 3 just make me sad. How dare you step onto your high and mighty horse (I realize that I am mixing all sorts of metaphors here) and look down upon those who didn't realize that the ingredients in Ecostyler gel were harmful? Not everyone understands the importance of reading ingredient labels or that ingredients are listed by order of volume (Need I remind you that not too long ago you didn't understand these things either?) And not everyone realizes the importance of or has the time to research each ingredient on said label. This is a natural hair journey and everyone's journey is different. The important thing is that now we do know about the ingredients in Ecostyler gel. And the most important thing is what we decide to do next with this knowledge.
Love each other and love yourselves,